A Bacon County native and 14-year veteran of the school system has been named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for Bacon County.
Casey Taylor, a first grade teacher and BCPS, and former PE teacher there and at BCES, was chosen by her peers as the top teacher.
“Mrs. Taylor goes above and beyond for all students to help them become more successful academically and socially,” says BCPS Principal Marcy Chancey. “She creates a positive culture so that students do their best even if it is very challenging,”
“Not only is Mrs. Taylor wonderful in teaching students, she is also very helpful to other teachers. She is great at sharing teaching strategies. Each day she enters the building with a smile on her face. She is a wonderful person inside and out.”
The BCHS Class of 2000 graduate is the daughter of Roy and Cathy Barber. She is married to Brad Taylor, and the couple has one son, Brantley Taylor, 5, and a Kindergartner at BCPS.
Taylor received her Associates degree from South Georgia College, and went on to earn her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Valdosta State University.
After graduating from VSU, Taylor began her teaching career in Bacon County and continued her education online. She earned her Masters degree from Walden University, and completed Nova University’s online program to receive a Specialists degree.
She has also added several certifications, including Physical Education and Health (K-12), and Special Education Consultative Reading and Math (K_5).
Taylor says her favorite thing about teaching is the students.
“I love interacting with the children,” she says. “I love to see how much they grow and learn daily, and throughout the year. The students are where my heart is.”
Taylor said she was “shocked” to learn she had won the Teacher of the Year honor.
“The winners at the other schools are awesome teachers,” she says.“Two of them were my teachers when I came through BCES and BCMS.”
“I think I was chosen because, like all the other teachers at my school, I put the students’ needs first. For my students to be successful, I am willing to try new strategies and interventions in my classroom. I, along with my co-teacher Amy Holton, am eager to share the successes and failures of these new strategies with my fellow teachers.”
Taylor says she truly believes a teacher can make “all the difference in a child’s life”.
“As teachers, we do not know what our studewnts’ lives are like at home,” she says. “We do not know what type of environment students go home to each day. We must make our classrooms safe and inviting for our students.”
“We must show them that we care and that we believe in each and every one of them. We must also communicate and converse with our students.”
“In the technologically advanced world we live in, many students do not communicate with others and when they do, many times, it is through text, email, or other form of technology. We need to have conversations with our students — with actual voices — that our students are taking part in.”
“They need to feel important and that their opinion matters.When students know they are valued by their teachers, they will strive to do their best. When students are happy, the teacher is happy, and the learning environment will blossom.”